Podcast & Chill V

One highlight of the return to school is my morning commute. SEVENTY MINUTES of ‘me’ time where I do my best thinking, my best lesson planning and get some of my best free professional development through my podcast listening.

I’ve previously shared four other installments of my Podcast & Chill blog posts inspired by the good people at Podcast Brunch Club, (think book club but for podcasts). In each post I shared my Essential Podcast Listening for #Healthed Teachers, a collation of #HealthEd related material that might have passed you by.  I also shared some cool Spotify playlists, which you know I love doing. The blog posts have proven to be so popular that they are now joined by Podcast & Chill Part V.

In the style of Podcast Brunch Club here is a themed playlist of podcasts that I have enjoyed recently that will be of particular interest to health teachers. Typically I have included questions to help you discuss your thoughts, but for this installment I am happy for you to listen, and reflect. Have a great school year!

Scott Todnem Interview (The Underground) : (38 minutes)

Scott Todnem is EVERYWHERE, and rightfully so. He’s OUR National Health Education Teacher of the Year, he continues to share his glows and grows on social media, his studeEBgB2rIXUAE2Bvj.jpgnt podcast just finished its first amazing season AND he’s the author of Growing Up Great, a puberty book for boys (and our Book of the Month for July).

In our conversation we talk about his journey to becoming the teacher he is today (has it always been as easy as he makes it look?), the changes in health education over the past 10 years or so, and how he’s spent his summer. Of course we dive into his new book and I ask Scott which books have inspired him recently?

If after listening you want more Scott in your life, you can follow him, read him, listen to him and see him (just click the links).

FYI – the companion book to Scott’s book is ‘Celebrate Your Body‘ by Sonya Renee Taylor.

Is ‘Race Science’ Making A Comeback? (NPR Code Switch) : (22 minutes)

I don’t think it is possible to teach #HealthEd, or any subject for that matter, without having social justice conversations. If you aren’t talking to your students about the social determinants of health then I urge you to consider it. 21st Century health education requires us to prepare our students to be successful as global citizens and they must see health through a global lens, not a local lens.

In this awesome podcast episode (I LOVE Code Switch), the team talk to author Angela Saini, who says that race science is one reason why black American’s aren’t treated the same as their non-black counterparts by the medical community.

Black Americans are more likely to die of almost everything than white Americans. The life expectancy of a black American is lower than a white American. It is perverse to assume that this must be genetic. Are black Americans so genetically disadvantaged that even infant mortality would be higher in black Americans? It just doesn’t make any sense. In the U.K., where I live, we see this life expectancy gap between the rich and the poor. It is exactly the same in America, but in America, it is treated as racial because socioeconomic circumstances run along racial lines.


I DEFINITELY want to read Angela Saini’s latest book ‘SUPERIOR‘ and I’ve added it to this list of books that I have curated on Amazon.

If you find this podcast interesting then you will also appreciate this 4 minute interview on how how racism affects children.

What Is Pornography Doing to Our Sex Lives? (Crazy/Genius) : (26 minutes)

I thank awesome educator Chris Pepper for suggesting this podcast to us. A common question on social media among health teachers is ‘what, if anything, are teachers saying about pornography in health class’ and Chris is often the voice of reason and resources. You MUST add Chris to your PLN.

I’ve quoted Illinois sex educator Kim Cavill before and I’ll quote her again – “Watching pornography as preparation for real life sex is like watching Fast & Furious movies to learn how to drive.”

In this podcast Emily Rothman, a professor at the Boston University School of Public Health argue that porn is like food. Much of it is harmless. And some of it is bad. But some of it is simply good. Younger people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, growing up in a small town without friends who share their sexual orientation, might discover in pornography a window into their own experience—and the message that there is nothing wrong with their feelings. “They might see pornography almost like a safe space,” Rothman says. “It can be inspiring and really helpful.”

Blog titles (20)Conversation about pornography can be difficult, and if you want to read more about one educators experience, check out Stephanie Ferris’ guest post for #slowchathealth – “To be anti-porn or not to be, that is the question?“.


Is That Higher-Order Task Really Higher Order? (Cult of Pedagogy) : (28 minutes)

I’m adding this great podcast from Jennifer Gonzalez because she consistently produces great content that you should check out, but also because this episode is very important. I’m tired of seeing teachers share classroom ideas on social media that on the surface seem ‘good’, but essentially are ‘busy, happy, good’ and not taking students to the deeper level that we hope from good instruction. It is these posts that get lot’s of thumbs up and smiley emoji’s and “OMG I’m totally doing this with mu kiddos tomorrow” comments that make me cringe.

In this podcast Jennifer identifies two common mistakes made by some teachers:

  1. Thinking a task is at the ‘analyze’ level when it’s really at the understand level.
  2. Thinking a task is at the ‘create’ level when it’s actually a ‘remember’ or ‘understand’ task with a pretty package.

If your goal this year is to stretch your health students and get them working on higher order tasks, you really need to listen to this podcast.

You can also subscribe to Jennifer’s awesome Cult of Pedagogy blog.


Traditionally my Podcast & Chill blog posts include an accompanying Spotify playlist. For this installment I’m sharing my 2019 playlist. I live life with my finger hovering over the Shazam button. These are the songs that I’ve discovered and enjoyed this year so far. Feel free to share your thoughts!



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